By: Jake Reiser
As one of the largest stages for college hockey in the city of Boston, the Beanpot Tournament becomes a springboard for players to leave their legacies, to the NHL and beyond. We pick two players from each competing team and explore the legacy they’ve left on the tournament.
We start with the player who will be inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame during this upcoming tournament, goaltender Terry Taillefer. Taillefer commanded the blue paint in his junior and senior years for the Beanpot, winning every game and two championships. He holds the all time record with a .914 save percentage in the Beanpot. The Edmonton, Alberta native won tournament MVP in 1986 after making 45 saves in a 4-1 victory over Boston College in the championship. The next year, he won the Eberly Award for the tournament’s best goaltender after an overtime win over Northeastern in the final.
The model Terrier player and coach won the tournament 24 times in his combined role for Boston University. As a player, he won three straight Beanpot trophies, and a record six consecutive tournament victories as a coach in the latter part of the 1990s. Coach Parker’s legacy on Commonwealth Avenue extends from the confines of the Boston Garden and TD Garden to the national stage, bringing the Scarlet and Red to two championships as a coach, 1995 and 2009.
John “Snooks” Kelley
A representative from the early part of the Beanpot era, “Snooks” Kelley helped toe Boston College Eagles to eight of the first 13 Beanpot championships, and was the coach of the first team to win three trophies in a tow, from 1963-65. Kelley became the first NCAA hockey coach to 500 career wins, and was elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. He is also a Lester Patrick Trophy winner in 1972, an NHL given award for his contributions to hockey in the United States.
The only active member on this list, York’s legacy with the Eagles knows no bounds. He recently collected his 1000th victory as a college coach, an 8-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. York seeks to hoist the trophy once again after being dethroned last season. The most recent coach to lead his team to five consecutive Beanpot titles, he also had led the Eagles to four NCAA Frozen Four titles since the beginning of this millennium,
While not an active member of the Beanpot community, Poile makes an impact now on the NHL level. Back at his playing days with the Huskies, Poile ended his Beanpot career seventh overall in total tournament scoring with 13 points, despite no trophies. At the end of his senior season, he became the second leading scorer in Husky history, 82 goals in all. Currently, Poile makes teams as the general manager of the Nashville Predators.
Unlike the former, Heinbuck won two titles in his Beanpot career, claiming the trophy in 1984 and 1985. He tallied four assists in a semifinal victory over Harvard in 1984. In his senior year, he set a single-season record for Husky scoring with 70 points, earning Team MVP and All Hockey East nominations. Heinbuck is currently the full time OHL scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Cavanagh leaves one of the biggest legacy on Harvard’s participation in the Beanpot, as the tournament’s all time leading scorer, a 7-12-19 point line. A Beanpot MVP twice in his playing career, he was also a first team All-Ivy League, All-ECAC, All-New England and All-American Honors. He garnered these accomplishments a second time in his senior season and also added the Bingham Award for the top male athlete at Harvard. Cavanagh broke his wrist in an Olympic practice, and didn’t pursue a hockey career past then.
If anyone other than Jack Parker has made an impact on his school so tremendously, it was Toland. The former Senior Associate Athletic Director was a part of Harvard Athletics for 41 years. As the chief financial officer for the athletic department, he’s made sure Harvard always has success behind the scenes. While he didn’t ever play in the tournament, his impact on the school garnered Beanpot tournament Hall of Fame Honors.